Xavier Takes Weekend Series Opener
STATESBORO, Ga. - Xavier scored eight runs in the fourth inning to take the weekend series opener from Georgia Southern 11-4 Friday night at J.I. Clements Stadium.
Xavier (3-4) tallied a season-high 17 hits and posted nine extra base hits. Stephen Schoettmer finished a home run shy of the cycle and recorded three hits and scored two runs. Five other Musketeers finished with two-hit games.
“I tip my hat to them,” Head Coach Rodney Hennon said. “They really swung the bats well tonight and in the eight-run inning they put some good swings on the ball. We have got to pick ourselves up, bounce back and respond.”
Xavier starter Jon Richards (1-1) threw six solid innings and allowed three runs – one earned – on seven hits. Richards walked just one batter and struck out four on 99 pitches.
The senior lefthander worked around a two-out double in the second inning and a two-out error in the third inning before allowing a two-run homer to Ben Morgan, who made his first start at shortstop since April 11, 2012, in the fifth inning. Zach Johnson (1) allowed one run over the final three innings for his first save of the season.
Georgia Southern (4-5) finished with nine hits, including two from Ben Morgan and Brent Pugh. The Eagles also got a pair of home runs from Morgan and Robbie Dodds, while Morgan and Pugh added a double each.
GSU's starter Sam Howard (2-1) suffered the loss after giving up seven runs on nine hits. Howard tied a career-high with five strikeouts but allowed three walks. Senior Drew Johnson tossed three scoreless innings and struck out a batter.
The Eagles scored in the first inning for the eighth time in nine games this season and led 1-0 after Chase Griffin drove in Morgan, who reached base after centerfielder Mark Elwell dropped a long fly ball.
After Xavier tied the game in the second inning with back-to-back doubles, the Musketeers scored eight runs on eight hits in the fourth inning. Nine consecutive batters reached base and five straight hitters recorded a RBI before reliever Josh Stevenson was able to end the inning with a fly out.
Xavier added single runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Georgia Southern scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth on a Morgan home run and added another run in the eighth inning on Dodd's first career hit and home run.
“It was good to see,” Hennon said about Dodd's homer. “In a game like tonight to come off the bench and put a good swing on the ball gives our team a little bit of a spark and gives him some confidence.”
The baseball team continues a three-game weekend series against Xavier Saturday. First pitch at J.I. Clements Stadium is set for 2:30 p.m. It will be 80's day at the ballpark and tickets are available online at gseagles.com or by calling the Georgia Southern Ticket Office at 1-800-GSU-WINS.
Georgia Southern Athletics provides up-to-date information on all its sports through its official website, GSEagles.com, through social media channels facebook.com/GSAthletics and twitter.com/GSAthletics, and its new "Eagles GATA" mobile app for Android and iOS.
- Category: Baseball
- Published on Friday, 01 March 2013 22:17